Just this week, a notification came across my Facebook feed. It reminded me that my husband and I have been friends (according to social media) for four years now.
Now if I’m going to be completely honest, this notification that I get each year sometimes makes me more emotional than our proposal and our wedding reminders.
When my husband met me, he had just turned eighteen, just graduated and had already almost completed his Associates degree. As the very goal-driven man that he is, he was on the fast track to move on to a specific university that met the needs of the automotive science degree that he sought. He had mighty Kingdom dreams of working on cars overseas and serving God wherever he was called.
He waltzed into a young adult’s ministry that I had just begun attending weeks before he did.
Meanwhile, I was a nineteen-year-old mother to a three-month-old baby boy, brand new believer who was really wrestling it out with my salvation. I was really nothing that this man had dreamed for himself, and he was beyond my wildest dreams of what I was worthy of.
Oh, but God.
We didn’t know it then, but God began to use each and every little memory and moment of our time together to intertwine our hearts. Neither of us remember our first meeting, and there was nothing really starry-eyed about our friendship for a very long time. I would honestly say that I was “on the hunt” as a new believing teen mother, knowing that a good Christian boy would be exactly the remedy for my situation. The man who I would someday marry, well he was deeply focused on school and mission trips, and any sort of romantic relationship that infringed on his plans kind of got pushed to the wayside.
I fell for him first. He’d admit that before I would even. And as the months wore on, our friendship grew to this very deep thing that honestly seemed to weigh heavy upon my spirit. I knew that I was falling in love, but felt that I would never be good enough, that I’d never measure up. I had never known someone who just cared about me without expectation. I hadn’t known a guy who would be willing to be my really good friend, and not then turn around and expect other things from me. A guy who loved my son just as much (if not more) than he loved me. I mean, this guy would walk into our group on Thursday nights and walk directly over to me take my son out of my arms, and then walk away and continue his mingling. I was in awe.
Okay, I’m getting a little mushy here. Back on track.
It took a long time, a lot of roadblocks, a lot of patience, but God made it clear to him to wait on His timing. And during all the roadblocks, the patience, the waiting, God told me clearly to stay put, even when I wanted to run out of this friendship that honestly just caused me heartache. But we obeyed, and God stole the show with His amazing plan. Just when He wanted, this lovely man stepped forward in faith in pursuit of me.
You see, this guy, this driven man who stops at nothing to accomplish a goal, he pressed pause to allow God room to work. To do something different. To do something spectacular. He allowed the interruption, and chose to step into a family. He stepped in, and right alongside him, God stepped in too.
Through the process of dating, engagement, and marriage, God has brought to light many times that I struggle with feeling that my husband and I are so unequally matched, that I am unworthy of him. While he sailed through college and graduated with a bachelor’s degree at just the age of nineteen, I struggled to make it through high school and the college credits I have are few. While he embraced faith at a young age, I stumbled into a church awkwardly with a baby and a whole bunch of baggage in tow. But through God’s patience and loving-kindness, He has come to show me that it is not a matter of worth, because without the blood of Christ, none of us are worthy. But in His presence, with His blood covering our sins, we are all made worthy, all made whole in Him.
And each day, when my oldest son runs headlong into my husband’s arms when he walks through the door, I can feel it in my heart how unbelievably blessed I am. And every once in a while, I take the time to remind myself that I’m getting to watch the Gospel lived out in my home, day in and day out, through the beloved man who chose us.
The first part of the verse 1 John 3:1 says, “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.” Many other places in the Bible talk about God adopting us as His sons and daughters. That while we were estranged from Him, He longed for us. He chose us and still continues to choose us. And when we come to Him, He is our Father, no matter who or what we belonged to before.
And let us not forget the man, who stepped in to be the earthly daddy to God’s one and only Son. Joseph, who stood alongside Mary in that scandal of grace, and loved Jesus as his own, despite the rumors, despite whatever else stood in their way.
Needless to say, I have a deep heart for the brave men who step into the lives of women and love children that are not their own. Because when they do so with an open and willing heart, those children become their own.
I know that my husband was not some sort of remedy to fix my situation, but was God’s perfect provision in His perfect timing, a good and perfect gift to me. And I’m fairly confident that my husband would assure you that while we were an interruption of sorts in his own plans, that God’s plan prevailed mightily and he wouldn’t have it any other way.
God works in mysterious ways. He works in wonderful ways. In fact, He works in the most perfect of ways.
I am ever thankful for the amazing man who stepped into our little life, and for God’s orchestration of the whole thing. I am ever in awe of His working.